10/14/2008 12:00AM

Illinois horsemen join united group


The Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, which represents horsemen in Chicago, has joined the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group, an organization formed late in 2007 to promote horsemen's interests in interstate simulcasting.

The Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group now includes horsemen's organizations from 17 states as well as the Canadian province of Ontario. The Illinois horsemen's board of directors unanimously approved membership in the group, according to Greg Szymski, executive director of the Illinois association.

Affiliation with the national group could cause friction with Arlington Park. Arlington is owned by Churchill Downs Inc., which has been at odds with the group over how to divide earnings from account wagering. Churchill went so far as to file a lawsuit seeking to dissolve the alliance.

The parameters of account wagering in Illinois still are being defined. The state legislature has taken up the issue in several proposed bills dealing with racing-related matters.